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Higgo’s Supercoach Punting Machine – Week 7

Published by Higgo on

For those that have joined the experiment late, I have developed a formula for predicting game outcomes and margins by using team’s playing 22 Supercoach value, adjusted with just three other factors; a “break-evens” form factor, a home-team advantage(if statistically significant) and a ground size factor.

The fun is two-fold. Each week I place small $5 line bets that offer me enjoyment in the short-term, while the long-term real fun lies in matching my model, referred to as “The Machine“, against Sportsbet’s line predicting model.

Summary of Week 6;

    Round 12 Winner Margin Machine Error Sportsbet Error
Crows V    St. Kilda Crows 4 2 11.5
GWS V Richmond Richmond 12 11 46.5
Gold Coast V North North 7 17 30.5
Hawks V Brisbane Hawks 65 22 14.5
Doggies V Port  Doggies 38 45 21.5
Average   Game Error 19.4 24.9

Here is the summary of all lines and bets to date;

         Ave. Game Error             Line Bet Record
The Machine Sporstbet No. Bets Wins Profit/Loss
Week 1 41 38.39 5 1 -$15.40
Week 2 27.44 31.17 4 3 $8.80
Week 3 19.11 25.78 6 6 $27.60
Week 4 34.22 43.67 5 5 $23.00
Week 5 21.78 15 4 1 -$10.40
Week 6 19.4 24.9 3 2 $4.20
Ave. Error 27.16 29.82 27 18 $37.80


So, the two important facts that I must highlight are;

1. The Machine line is on average, 2.66 points closer to actual game margins than the Sportsbet calculation.

2. After placing 27 $5 line bets over 6 weeks, I have made a profit of $37.80.

Here is The Machine‘s output and bets for Round 13;

 Round 13 Machine Winner  Machine Margin   Sportsbet Line   Difference  Machine’s Bet Stake
Sydney V    Geelong  Geelong  10  Syd(8.5)  18.5 Back CATS at the line  $5
Dogs V    Brisbane Dogs 21 19.5 1.5 No bet
C’Wood V WCE C’Wood 18 14.5 3.5 No bet
Freo V Essendon Freo 12 Ess(4.5) 16.5 Back FREO at the line $5
Melb. V GWS Melbourne 8 22.5 14.5 Back GWS at the line $5
North V Adelaide Adelaide 38 20.5 17.5 Back CROWS at the line $5

As per-usual, the machine has predicted a few upsets. Looking back through The Machine’s logs, it has predicted 6 Sportsbet underdogs thus far and got 4 of them correct. In fact, the 2 losing uderdog predictions have both been Port selections. Interesting.

Enjoy this, the final bye round, and I look forward following these lines with my calculated $5 bet this weekend.


Kind regards,

Peter Higginbotham


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Please excuse my betting ignorance, but when you say you're backing X team "at the line" what does that mean excactly?


Dear Marc,

An important question that must be explained.

Sportsbet comes up with a winner and effectively a winning margin. On Friday night's game they think Sydney will win by 8.5 pts. So if you think Sydney will win by 9 or more points, you can bet on Sydney to beat this line, or " back Sydney at the line" at odds of $1.92.

Odds of $1.92 are not good given that Sportsbet feel that it is a 50-50 chance or $2 chance, so my bets are placed where I think they have the points margin significantly wrong.

I hope this clarifies this bet type for you, but of course, never bet when you are unsure!


Peter Higginbotham


I've loved reading your machine results each week and as a fellow mathematcian I love the thought of using stats/scores to win a bit of cash by beating the betting agencies… I can't help noticing that your machine always seems to have an improved bias toward the two expansion teams… I.e… Most sportsbet lines are usually over +40 for both gws/gcs (although not always the case like this week) while your machine will have them often alot shorter… Which i am not saying is wrong, as both teams are doing reasonably well lately and you have had a few wins with them. Do you think a bias could come from using SC values, (which ultimatley driven by sc scores) as scores are scaled each week to the 3300 rule… Which I believe could limit the scores and therefore price increases of opposition teams and the Vic versa by increasing gws/gcs scores as they are often scaled to fit the rule. I would be interesting, if possible to see a comparison of the machine when used a much less subjective and unscaled scoring/value system such as DT. (Not saying Dt is a better system, but just an alternative) Anf also does the fact the most gws players have low prices to start with, hence better BE's and value changes over the year vs other normal teams make a difference. Anyway, like I said before I LOVE your machine, and it wins me money most weeks, but I have just been thinking about the metadata behind your system. (I'd also love to hear how and what influenced particular fudge factor values in home ground, ground size and form factors…is it simply just a team win/loss ratio at home, away, at each ground and last 5 games… Or does it factor in size of loss or even how often a te plays on that ground… Eg: As I assume wce have excellent home ground advantage… But also applying a ground size advantage due to subiacos large area seems like double dipping) anyway, feel free to get back to me if you want/have any time. Cheers Higgo.


Dear Karl,

Your comment is precisely why I like to share my ideas in a public forum! I have taken a lot of criticism but all of this is negated by the "thinking man's" comment such as yours.

Firstly, you are spot on with the fact that the expansion teams always seem to be favored. While their team value is always significantly lower than their established opponents, the break-even adjustment brings them back to the field. I tested a few adjustment models over the first 6 rounds and noticed that when I applied the same rule to all teams, regardless of the rookie ratio, the results were on average better than Sportsbet.

Funnily enough, I have been tinkering on a model that just uses the sum of three week player averages that have been scaled to try and eradicate the 3300 rule. So, my spreadsheets are having a bit of fun on the side. The Machine V The Tinker V Sportsbet.

I really think there is something in this and to be honest, I feel that Sportsbet themselves MUST be using some sort of game data …. And what better data to use than Champion Data, which Supercoach uses!

My next quest is to use past game data and Sportsbet lines to come up with a formula to predict the Sportsbet line each week. This to me represents good honest fun.

One thing I have not thought of which has me thinking is your suggestion of exploring Dream Team prices ….. Great idea!

As for home ground advantages ect. I use a simple team v team approach, ie. Essendon have struggled over there against Freo, whereas, a few weeks ago, Collingwood have performed very well at Aami. The two greatest ground size teams are WCE = Big, and Sydney = Small. This has come out of past data. The precise formula ….. Is my little secret!

Thanks again for the fantastic input!

Peter Higginbotham


Not sure what youse are on about but bloody love this chit chat on the site Karl.


hahaha… would love to echo Jock's comment here…

honestly love your work… all of you in this community.


Something to note is that Sportsbet aren't trying to predict the margins. Instead, they're trying to set a line where they get an equal amount of money bet on each side (so that they profit no matter what).

They may well think that Freo will beat Essendon (as you do, Higgo) but if they also figure that the general public over-rate Essendon and under-rate Freo (or are biased towards Melbourne sides vs interstaters, or similar) they'll adjust the line for that.

So you're not strictly competing against Sportsbet and their version of the machine, but rather you're competing against the opinion of the general public (of which the Sportsbet line is a reflection).

As for this week, I can't bet against my Sydney side (though if I was impartial I'd probably follow you). Essendon have been horrifically inaccurate lately, and I figure they have to get it right (and therefore give someone a hiding) sometime soon. You have been pretty accurate on the underdogs so far though (albeit a small sample). I'll be following you on the other two for sure.

Schmacko Chump

Great Call!

Never thought about lines like that. may change my punting philosophy. really enjoying this post.



Dear chininsmack

"So you’re not strictly competing against Sportsbet and their version of the machine, but rather you’re competing against the opinion of the general public (of which the Sportsbet line is a reflection)."

Excellent. And may also be a factor in the large expansion lines.


Peter Higginbotham


Higgo you are a genius. Smarter than Einstein I reckon

The Peanut

That first line had me sweating Higgo – but you got it in! Had to put a multi on again. Please make thr next line a little less stressful.


Higgo, love your work old son.

Would be interesting to evaluate your success rate based on the various machine/sportsbet difference, ie what is your success rate if the difference is 0-10, 11-20, 21-30 etc etc

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